Nigeria mourns the passing of, Oke, award-winning Poet
Following his passing on Saturday at the Abuja National Hospital, affected Nigerians have expressed shock and grief award-wining performance poet, Ikeogu Oke.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday sympathised with the Oke family.
Oke won the 2017 NLNG-sponsored Nigerian Prize for Literature.
The President in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, extends condolences to the literary and creative community.
Buhari said Oke, who was a journalist, exuded vibrancy, intelligence and innovation in his works as a social commentator.
“On behalf of the Federal Government, President Buhari extends heartfelt condolences to Oke’s family, the literary and creative community on the painful demise of the award-winning poet,” his spokesperson, Femi Adesina, said in a statement on Monday.
“The President affirms that as an author, journalist and poet, Oke exuded vibrancy, intelligence and innovation in his works as a social commentator, constantly in search of plausible answers and solutions to contemporary issues bedevilling his society.
“Through his poetry, the President believes that Oke enriched Nigeria’s literary genre and his legacy will live on in his works, which he was incredibly proud of and committed to, as he wrote in his epic Epitaph: ‘‘Here lies a man who loved virtue and art, And gave to both his fortunes and his heart…’’
“The President encourages all Nigerians, the literary community and lovers of art to honour Ikeogu Oke’s memory by imbibing the didactic message of his works.
“He prays God to console all who mourn the departed poet and grant the soul of the departed eternal rest,” Mr Adesina stated.
Oke wrote his epitaph on September 16 barely two months before he died.
It read, “‘MY EPITAPH’
“My Epitaph. Here lies a man who loved virtue and art, And gave to both his fortunes and his heart. Ikeogu Oke (1967 –).” Yes, even now my bellows puff out fire: The flames of life and not for the pyre.”